miniaturized sensors developed by researchers at the tufts university school of engineering could transform the way we eat. the tiny 2mm x 2mm tooth-mounted sensor uses wireless technology to transmit information on glucose, salt and alcohol intake.

 

tuft engineers sought a more adoptable technology when developing the technology, creating a footprint that can conform and bond to the irregular surface of a tooth. they describe the technology as acting similarly to a toll collection on the highway, the sensors transmitting data wirelessly in response to an incoming radiofrequency signal. 

 

the sensors are made up of three sandwiched layers: a central ‘bioresponsive’ layer that absorbs the nutrient or other chemicals to be detected, and outer layers consisting of two square-shaped gold rings. together they act like a tiny antenna with each part acting independently to absorb certain foods before shifting its electrical properties and transmitting information detecting and measuring nutrients and other analytes. 

 

in theory we can modify the bioresponsive layer in these sensors to target other chemicals – we are really limited only by our creativity,’ said fiorenzo omenetto, Ph.D., corresponding author and the Frank C. doble professor of engineering at tufts. we have extended common RFID [radiofrequency ID] technology to a sensor package that can dynamically read and transmit information on its environment, whether it is affixed to a tooth, to skin, or any other surface.’

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